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Updated: January 29, 2014 19:11 IST

Who are you?

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About me?: A truly complex question. Photo: K. Murali Kumar
The Hindu
About me?: A truly complex question. Photo: K. Murali Kumar

The answer to that question is always complicated.

Recently, I registered myself with a website and the registration process involved answering a question that got me thinking — “Describe yourself in 500 words.” As easy as it sounds, I was at a loss of words to describe myself in just 500 words. I mean, am I not way more complicated than that?!

“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players… And one man in his time plays many parts,” wrote William Shakespeare. True, but I would say one man AT A TIME plays many parts! And that’s precisely my problem, that I play many parts at a time — from the rebellious daughter to the jesting friend, all the parts are completely different and sometimes independent of each other.

This ‘role play’ can sometimes leave us bewildered as to who we really are. In the process of discovering our true identities, we are liable to be misled, thanks to the interpretations of others. Okay, so there are three of them in all: what we think we are, what others think we are and finally what we actually are. There can be subtle differences between the three.

Another drawback to this “self-discovering” process is that some roles overlap (like a lover cum friend, brother/sister cum friend and so on).

The answer to the question “Who are you?” would be the same as “Who do you think you are?” See? Simple.

Remember the adage folks, ‘I think, therefore I am.’

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